Germany: status of the participatory financing market

28 July 2022

Business Insight

Between 2011 and 2020, Germans spent no less than 1.4 billion euros on participatory investment projects involving business financing, real estate investments or energy projects, according to the Crowdinvest Marktreport 2020. According to the Crowdfunding Barometer, around 15.9% of Germans have already contributed financially to a project. The market was booming until 2019, with almost €417.7 million invested, but was struck by the health crisis in 2020, with a decline of 21.5%. Furthermore, on a European level, the ECSP Regulation of 7 October 2020 was adopted to harmonise the regulatory framework for crowdfunding. What are the consequences for German platforms? Focus on the state of the German crowdfunding market.


Panorama of the participatory financing sectors

Since the health crisis, many companies have approached private investors for financial support. Today, as we emerge from the crisis, how do things stand? The situation of the different crowdfunding sectors in Germany is not equal. While some industries are winning, others are struggling to attract investors. Also, we note that digital natives, who are better informed about the issue, are the most active investors (86.2% of 18-29-year-olds and 90.3% of 30-39 year-olds, according to the Crowdfunding Barometer).


Our figures are taken from the Crowdinvest Marktreport 2020.


Energy crowdfunding platform: a winning sector

The energy sector shows an apparent investment increase with solid market growth in 2019 (€9.2 million). It peaks in 2020, with €13.4 million invested in 23 projects.

However, the picture remains uneven. Some platforms did not show significant growth – or even a decrease in investments – between 2019 and 2020. This is particularly the case for Greenvesting and Bettervest. On the other hand, others have seen a significant increase. The Ecozins platform is the most striking example, going from 1 to 6 projects and 0.4 million to 2.2 million euros between 2019 and 2020.


Real estate crowdfunding platform: a buoyant sector despite the health crisis

Although the real estate sector was the fastest growing in 2019, increasing by 46%, it nevertheless experienced a 20% decline in 2020. Nonetheless, it remains the most buoyant sector in recent years.

In 2020, 158 real estate projects were created through participatory investment. But here again, the situations differ from one platform to another. The largest, Exporo, went from 72 projects in 2019 to 60 in 2020, for €195.8 million in 2019 and €135.7 million the following year. Others, such as Rendity, have seen a marked increase. The platform received more projects in 2020 than previously, with €1.8 million more than in 2019.


Crowdfunding platform in finance: a sector in sharp decline

The finance sector stands out for the sharp decline it has suffered. In 2020, business financing through participatory investment was down by more than 37%. While 495 projects were funded in 2019, only 91 were funded the following year.

This significant decline in the finance sector is mainly due to the collapse of credit-based financing : 33.1 million in 2019 to   3.6 million euros in 2020.


Donations and rewards platform, a still popular participatory financing in Germany

Despite the health crisis, donation and reward-based crowdfunding remain a popular form of participatory financing in Germany. There are more than 200 such platforms in the country. In 2020, they recorded a volume of around 50 million euros according to the Current State of Crowdfunding in Europe report of July 2021.

In the case of donation platforms, the example of Betterplace is particularly telling. It is Germany’s largest donation-based platform, and in 2020 it raised a total of €19 million, equivalent to everything it had raised in 2019.

For reward-based crowdfunding platforms, Startnext is the leading platform in the German market. It has mobilised 1.67 million individuals to finance 2,795 projects with a total volume of 29 million euros.


ECSP Regulation: what are the consequences for crowdfunding platforms in Germany?

Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 of 7 October 2020 (the “ECSP Regulation”) harmonises the regulatory framework for crowdfunding. This has led to the creation of single status that each crowdfunding platform will have to obtain to continue its activity on a European scale: that of a participatory finance service provider (PSFP).



Faced with difficulties in setting up this approval, Lemonway has established itself as the reference payment service provider. As a pan-European organisation, it knows the particularities of German legislation and helps you create crowdfunding platforms on the regulatory side. Would you like to learn more about the German crowdfunding market? Our teams are available for discussion.


CASE STUDY - October